Shop the circulars.
Every week each local grocery store sends their circulars to your neighborhood. Check out each one and see which has the most bargains on the staples you need each week. But stick with one store -- making trips to multiple stores for negligible savings wastes gas and your valuable time.
Limit your trips.
Shop no more than once a week based off a list. This will put an end to pricey impulse buys. If you totally run out of some staple, run into the store with $5 in hand so you don't even have the option of picking up other stuff.
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If possible, leave your spouse and kids at home. He will want a six pack of energy drinks, and the kids will want something extra... and who are you to be the big meanie by saying no? Make the trip yourself and save yourself the headache -- and the cash. (Bonus: You'll save time, too.)
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Do some math and compare.
Just because an item is on sale, or you have a coupon, doesn't mean it is the best buy. Comparing unit prices on items will get you the best bargain. If it gets confusing, bring along a calculator or use the calculator function on your cell phone.
Check your receipts for loyalty bonuses.
If you use a store loyalty card, chances are the market gives you an extra bonus with your receipt that you might not have noticed. That extra piece of paper is a coupon or two personalized for your buying habits -- which means it is something you would buy anyway. Use it if it is something you need, and it is truly the best deal!
Actually use your coupons.
Organize your coupons with the ones that expire soonest on top so you don't miss the offer due to poor timing. But of course, you mustn't forget the golden rule of couponing: Don't buy something you don't need or want just because it's cheap.
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Be smart about buying in bulk.
Sure, the 20 pound multi-pack of cereal at your local Costco or Sam's Club is quite a bit cheaper per pound than you can find at the grocery store... but will you use it all in a reasonable amount of time? (Nobody likes stale corn flakes -- and almost nobody likes corn flakes every single day, either.) Also ask yourself how -- and where -- will you store it all? Be doubly cautious with perishable items, and don't try a new product or brand for the first time by buying the family-pack size... no matter how great that little sample bite tasted.
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Get more great money-saving tips & tricks
>> Get more ideas! Live large, but spend small